Drive safe this Fourth as Idaho sees an alarming spike in traffic deaths

It is shaping up to be a deadly summer on Idaho roads. As many Idahoans make Fourth of July travel plans, the Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS) encourages caution behind the wheel. Since May 24, 31* people have been killed in traffic crashes in the Gem State, including two in Boundary County.

The year-to-date traffic fatality total is 105* deaths, already a deadlier year than 2023. At this time last year, there were 94 traffic fatalities. 2023 was the deadliest year on Idaho roads since 2003.

Idaho is in the middle of a period called the 100 Deadliest Days. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, when there is typically a spike in fatal and serious injury crashes across the state. More people are out of school or work, on vacation, and celebrating, and risky driving behaviors like impaired driving, distracted driving, and speeding increase.

“There’s no better place to be than Idaho’s great outdoors in the summer, but we want everyone to make it home safely too,” said Highway Safety Manager Josephine Middleton. “Our actions behind the wheel are the only way we can prevent this senseless loss of life on our roads. Plan a sober ride, like a designated driver, especially if you are celebrating the holiday far from home.”

OHS and law enforcement partners across the state are teaming up to keep our roads safe from impaired drivers. Expect to see more officers on DUI patrol now through July 10th.

For the Fourth of July and the rest of the summer, remember these driving tips:

  • Always wear a seat belt. It increases your chances of surviving a crash by 50%.
  • Drive engaged—no distractions behind the wheel.
  • Never drink and drive. Plan a sober ride home and encourage your friends to as well.
  • Obey speed limits, drive slower if conditions are poor.

*Preliminary data, subject to change.